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Presentation on theme: "THE AGE OF ABSOLUTISM ( )"— Presentation transcript:


2 Absolutism Form of monarchical power when a ruler has a complete authority over the government and lives of the people Two types of A.: 1. Ruler 2. Ruler + Chief Minister A. took place in: Spain, France, Prussia, Russia, Austria

3 Map of states under Absolutism

4 Setting the Stage Europe was in a period after Reformation. Still divided religiously. Catholic territory: Spain, France, Italy, Southern Germany. Protestant territory: England, Netherlands, Northern Germany Spain, France, and England had colonies in Asia, the Americas, and Africa.

5 Spain (Charles V: King of 2 Crowns)
Grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella: Inherited Spain and Austrian Hapsburg empire in 1519. Struggled to suppress Protestant movement in German states as well as the Ottoman empire led by Suleiman. Tired of the constant warfare of this diverse empire, Charles V gave up his title and entered a monastery. Division of his empire: Hapsburg land→brother Ferdinand Spain, Netherlands, southern Italy→son Philip

6 Spain (Philip II) Thanks to silver from Americas, his empire became the wealthiest in Europe. Absolute monarch: complete authority over government and lives of people. Ruled by divine right: believed his authority to rule came directly from God. Sought to protect and strengthen the Catholic Church. Counter-reformation; turned Inquisition against Protestants. Enforced Catholic unity in his lands.

7 Spain (The Wars of Philip II)
Defeated Ottoman Muslims in the Mediterranean region. Battled Protestant rebels in Netherlands who resisted Philip’s efforts to crush Protestantism there. Also opposed high taxes and autocratic rule. Netherlands eventually won independence from Spain after many years of war and became known as the Dutch Netherlands in 1648.

8 Spain (The Wars of Philip II)
Queen Elizabeth I was chief Protestant enemy who supported the Dutch rebellions. She also knighted Sir Francis Drake, a pirate who looted Spanish treasure ships. In response, Philip II Prepared a huge Armada (fleet of 130 ships) against England. Due to storm on English Channel, armada was destroyed. England won and suprassed Spanish power thereafter. Victory for Elizabeth I

9 Spanish Golden Age: Philip II was a patron of the arts and founded academies for science and math. Painters: El Greco: religious pictures and royal portraits Diego Velázquez: best known court painter. Writers: Miguel de Cervantes: wrote Don Quixote, the first modern novel in Europe. Mocks medieval chivalry.

10 Spain’s Economic Decline: 1600s
Economic decline because: There were less able successors after Philip II Wars overseas drained Spain financially. Expulsion of Muslim and Jew= deprived the economy of many skilled artisans and merchants France (and England) replaced Spain as most powerful European nation.

11 France From 1560s-1590s, religious war between Huguenots (French Protestants) and the Catholic majority tore France apart. Worst incident: Bartholomew´s day Massacre. 3,000 were killed. Symbolized complete breakdown of order in France.

12 France: (Henry IV) Henry IV: In 1589, a Huguenot prince inherited the throne. Issued Edict of Nantes in 1598: protected Protestants and promote religious tolerance. He ruled alone but royal officials helped him. Strong central government to restore order. Royal officials: 1. Administered justice 2. Improved roads,built bridges 3. Revived agriculture ***Laid foundations for royal absolutism.

13 France (Louis XIII) Henry IV assassinated→ 9 years old son Louis XIII inherited throne. Young Louis XIII appoited Cardinal Armand Richelieu as his chief minister and ruled with his help. Richelieu further strengthened central government

14 France (Richelieu) Richelieu sought to destroy the power of Huguenots and nobles so he:
Smashed the Huguenots cities and outlawed their armies BUT he allowed them to practice their own religion Defeated the private nobles armies and destroyed their castles BUT he tied nobles to king by giving them high posts at court or in royal army

15 France (Louis XIV & Marazin)
Richelieu handpicked his successor Cardinal Jules Marazin, Reign of Louis XIV: 1. Ruled with Marazin´s help 2. Disorder again swept France After Marazin died Louis took the government under his control Claimed “I Am The State” or the “Sun King.” Believed in divine right to rule. Took sun as symbol of absolute power.

16 France (Louis XIV) Never called a meeting of the Estates General, a council that was established to check royal power. Appointed intendants to collect taxes, recruit soldiers, and carry out his policies throughout France. Under Louis XIV, French army became the strongest in Europe. His finance minister, Jean Baptiste Colbert followed mercantilist policies, helping make France the wealthiest state in Europe.

17 France (Louis XIV & Versailles)
Built palace of Versailles, the most magnificent building in Europe. Versailles became symbol of the Sun King’s wealth and power. Housed 10,000 people. No expense was too great. Lavish lifestyle. Court of Louis supported splendid century in the arts. French academies established.


19 France (Louis XIV) Reigned for 72 yrs, longer than any other monarch.
French culture, manners, and customs replaced those of Renaissance Italy as the standard for European taste. Revoked Edict of Nantes forcing over 100,000 Huguenots to flee France. Caused serious blow to French econ. Also drained economy with warfare. Refused Philip V of Spain’s attempt to unite the two crowns. By the time Louis XV inherited throne, France was in a state of chaos.

20 England (The Tudors & Parliament)
Power was maintained far differently in England than in France and Spain. Tudor dynasty reigned from Henry VII believed in divine right, but valued Parliament and maintained good relationships. Elizabeth I was popular and successful thanks to good Parliamentary relations.

21 English Parliament House of Lords: Upper house
Hereditary rule or appointed by sovereign Lord Spiritual and Lord Temporal lead this house. House of Commons Lower house Democratically elected body. Prime Minister leads this house.

22 England (The Stuarts & Parliament)
When Elizabeth died without a direct heir, the throne passed to the Stuarts, the ruling family of Scotland. James I, the first Stuart monarch contested Parliament and sought absolute rule. Leaders in the House of Commons (body of Parliament) resisted his claim to divine right. In 1625, Charles I inherited the throne. Also behaved like an absolute monarch. Imprisoned foes without trial and created bitter enemies. For 11 years, he ruled the nation without Parliament. When he finally summoned Parliament to get help suppressing a Scottish rebellion, it launched its own revolt.

23 Parliamentary Rebellion and Civil War
When Parliament finally reconvened they staged the greatest political revolution in English history. Charles lashed back against the reforms they proposed. When he attempted to arrest the most radical leaders, they escaped and formed an army. A civil war ensued, lasting from In the end, revolutionary forces triumphed. Oliver Cromwell led the triumphant New Model Army for Parliament, and by 1647, the king was in the hands of parliamentary forces.

24 Execution of King Charles
After the war, Parliament set up court to put King Charles on trial. He was condemned as tyrant, traitor, and public enemy, and beheaded. 1st time in history that a monarch had been tried and executed by his own people. Sent clear message that in England, no ruler could claim absolute power and ignore the rule of law.

25 The Commonwealth After execution of Charles I, House of Commons abolished monarchy, House of Lords, and Church of England. Declared England a republic called the Commonwealth, which was led by Oliver Cromwell. Enforced strict military rule. Under the Commonwealth, Puritans replaced the Church of England. Strict piety. After Cromwell died, Puritans lost their grip on England.

26 Charles II Many English were tired of military rule and strict Puritan ways After a decade of kingless rule, Parliament invited Charles II to return to England from exile. Unlike his father, Charles II was a popular ruler who avoided his father’s mistakes in dealing with Parliament. Restored Church of England and promoted religious tolerance.

27 James II, William & Mary Charles II’s brother James II inherited the throne. Unlike Charles II, he angered Parliament and attempted to restore Catholic Church. Parliament invited his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange to become rulers of England. When they arrived, James fled to France. Non-violent overthrow known as the Glorious Revolution.

28 English Bill of Rights Before they could be crowned, William and Mary had to accept several acts passed by Parliament that became known as the English Bill of Rights. It ensured superiority of Parliament over the monarchy. Required monarch to summon Parliament regularly and forbade monarch from interfering with debate or suspending laws. Also restored trial by jury and affirmed principle of habeas corpus in which no one could be held in prison without first being charged with a specific crime. Created a limited monarchy form of government. Set England apart from the rest of Europe.

29 Austria & Prussia Struggle between Protestant North and Catholic South in Germany triggered the Thirty Years’ War. The war led to severe depopulation. As many as 1/3 of the people in the German states died during the wars. Finally exhausted combatants accepted treaties like the Peace of Westphalia. Left Germany divided into more than 360 separate states.


31 Hapsburg Austria Though weakened by war Hapsburgs wanted to create a strong united state. Focused attention on expanding their own lands. Added Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland to Austria. Difficult to unite these diverse lands. When Hapsburg emperor Charles VI died, many did not recognize his daughter, Maria Theresa’s right to rule.

32 Maria Theresa Maria Theresa appealed to Hungarian assembly for help . They agreed. Despite resistance, she was able to preserve her empire and win support of most of her people. She strengthened Hapsburg power by reorganizing the bureaucracy and improving tax collection. Forced nobles to pay taxes, easing the tax burden on peasants. Formed strong Catholic state.

33 Rise of Prussia Meanwhile, Prussia emerged as a new Protestant power.
Under Prussian ruler Frederick William I, a great army was assembled . He became known as Frederick the Great. Prussia emerged along with Austria, France, England, and Russia, as one of the great powers of Europe.

34 Russia Russia was in a period called “Time of troubles”
Untouched by Renaissance and European reformations and completely isolated Conservative Russians held onto Russian Orthodox Church and traditions Not until 1682 did a czar emerge who was strong enough to regain order and maintain absolute power of earlier czars. Peter Mikhailov (Peter the Great) was that czar who pushed Russia to become a great modern power.

35 Russia Peter The Great and The Romanovs
The most dominant figure in the Russian history He learned from European cultures and was inspired by them to completely reform Russia. Traveled around Europe examining the way modern government, technology, and culture were managed in Western Europe. Wanted to catch Russia up to them.

36 Russia Peter The Great Embarked on a policy of westernization, or adoption of western ideas, technology, and culture. Had difficulty convincing Russians to change their way of life. To impose his will, he became the most autocratic of Europe’s monarchs. Tortured and killed those who challenged him. Also strengthened military, expanded Russian borders, Brought Russian Orthodox Church under his control, and expanded serfdom (like feudalism/slavery). Used serfs to serve the state. They were used to work on government projects like building roads, canals, etc. Enforced mercantilist policies and expanded trade.

37 Russia St. Petersburg Built new capital city at St. Petersburg. Called it a “window on the West.” Just as Versailles was a monument to French absolutism, St. Petersburg became symbolic of Russian absolutism as well as a symbol of modern Russia.

38 Russia Catherine The Great
A German princess, who got to the throne by marrying Russian heir Continued at what Peter started – extended Russian territory, brought even more reforms Intelligent and educated woman, a student of French thinkers, who led Enlightment Many similiarities in her reign to that of Peter the Great. Strong ruler, but often ruthless.

39 Russian absolutism Absolute power of the czars was inherited.
Cruel, almost tyrannical reign of Peter was necessary in order to tame turmoil and prevent upheaval of power in Russia.

40 Sources Cited Images from: Web Gallary of Art
Ellis, E.G., & Esler. (2005). A. World History: Connections to Today. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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